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Train from Brussels to Bastogne then Bus

Any assistance in taking the IC train from Brussels to Bastogne and then the bus into town. We are staying our first night either at Hotel Georgio or Hotel Collins and then our second night at the Best Western and have found a local guide, Henri Mignon to take us on a specific tour of where my father fought in the Battle of the Bulge.

My question is can or should I book my train ahead of time and then I know I have to take the local bus which brings us close within walking to our hotels. I have researched this and also have spoken to our hotel.

Has anyone done this recently from Brussels to Bastogne and then from Bastogne to Luxembourg which will be our next 2 day adventure to see war museums and the Xmas markets.

Thank you,

Kathy

Posted by
8889 posts

Belgian Railways is one of the companies which does not give a discount for buying tickets early, also they do not have seat bookings in Belgian internal trains. Just buy a ticket when you get to the station in Brussels, from the ticket machine or the ticket counter.

P.S. The two other railway companies which just have fixed fares and no advance booking for internal trains are NS (Dutch Railways) and SBB (Swiss Railways).

Posted by
12040 posts

Also note that there is no passenger rail service to Bastogne. You must take the train to Libramont (sp?), then catch a bus from there to Bastogne. To make matters more confusing, Belgium's bus service is split into two different entities for each of the two main regions- De Lijn for the Flemish region, and TEC for the Walloons.

Posted by
7551 posts

I recommend you buy or go to the library for Lonely Planet Belgium. It covers each town in detail. I haven't been to Bastogne, but as you're getting the idea, this is "challenging" by public transportation only. I'm glad you have a local guide, I presume but you didn't say, that he is going to drive you in his car.

Posted by
215 posts

Yes, my guide in Bastogne is Henri Mignon and he is going to drive all 3 of my sisters on a tour of the 28th Division First Army, 447th Anti Aircraft Artillery. Especially in Wiltz, Luxembourgh where my father was captured on December, 18th, 1944. It is the 79 th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge.

Thank you for the train tips and not having to buy advance fares. The bus to Bastogne will require some more research as it seems there are 2 routes. I will call my local hotel and also ask my guide.

And thanks for the tip about the Lonely Planet guide to Belgium and of course, I have the trusty Rick Steves Guide and I just have to READ it but have watched all of his shows on Belgium. I am excited about all of his new series.

Anyone know which bus route to take from the train to Bastogne? I will report back on my research and of course, my trip report.

Kathy

Posted by
12040 posts

The website of the national rail company, NMBS tells you which train and bus to take.

One slightly confusing aspect of the Belgian public transit network for travelers is that they only announce the names of towns in the official language of the region in which you find yourself. For example, in officially bilingual Brussels, a train going towards Liége in the Walloon region will be accounced as "Liége" and "Luik" in Brussels, then only as "Luik" as it moves into the Flemish region, then back to "Liége" as it passes back into the Walloon region. In many cases, the differences in the names of the town is minimal ("Brussel" vs "Bruxelles", "Brugge" vs. Bruges", "Gent" vs "Ghent"), sometimes it isn't as obvious ("Antwerpen" vs "Anvers", "Bastenaken" vs "Bastogne", "Ieper" vs "Ypres"), and in a few cases, very different ("Bergen" vs "Mons", "Doornik" vs "Tournai").

Posted by
215 posts

Thank you for both the website for the national rail company and the differences in the names once you are on the train.

Kathy